YMCA History- Nationally and Locally

The YMCA was founded over 150 years ago by George Williams as an alternative to the hard life of living on the streets. At that time the YMCA was different because it welcomed people from different churches and social classes. It is this fundamental desire of inclusion that leads to the welcome of members from all faiths, ethnicity, income level, gender, or age. Furthermore, our financial assistance policies ensure that no one is turned away for inability to pay.

Throughout our country’s history, the YMCA has played an important role in sports and community service. The YMCA has been credited for the invention of basketball and volleyball. We can boast about having the first indoor pool and offering the first community-based swim lessons. We are proud to have played a role in the development of the Boy Scouts, Campfire Girls, the Negro National Baseball League, the United Service Organization (USO) and Peace Corps.

As a member of one of the best-known, most widely respected nonprofit organizations in the world, the YMCA is celebrating 121 years of service to the Pomona Valley area. Children in trouble, families in need, senior citizens alone and afraid—these are as much a part of the YMCA and its dedicated volunteers, professional staff and strategically located family facility centers. True to its Mission, all YMCA programs and opportunities are available to all persons regardless of age, sex, race, ethnic background, financial and physical ability. $100,000 in financial assistance scholarships welcomed deserving children and families to the YMCA family into programs and membership opportunities. Once thought of as “swim and gym center,” today’s  YMCA has expanded its range of service to include:

  • Safe havens for quality child care and teen programs
  • Unique community outreach efforts and
  • Leadership training programs peer and
  • Academic mentoring
  • Childhood obesity
  • Preschool and afterschool programs
  • Active older fitness,
  • Wellness and social offerings Christian fellowship through family-oriented community activities

Still utilizing sports and recreation as core activities the YMCA has built on these basic tools to teach self-esteem, good sportsmanship, teamwork, character development and civic responsibility to children and adults alike. The mission of the YMCA is to serve our community by practicing Christian principles through programs that build spirit, mind, and body. Today perpetuating the vision of the founders of the YMCA of Pomona Valley, one seeks to build an “everybody’s Y” - a 21st-Century organization to serve as many people and as many needs as possible.

From infants to senior citizens, the YMCA offers programs for every age and every race, with both on-site facilities and outreach programs that reaches into the entire Pomona Valley area.  It encourages members to develop qualities of both leadership and teamwork.  It reaches out to people who are disadvantaged and at-risk, and it also helps meet the unique needs of those with mental and physical disabilities. 

The YMCA helps develop self-confidence, self-respect, and a Christian faith for daily living.  It builds awareness that a healthy mind and body are sacred gifts to be appreciated and maintained.  The YMCA is recognized as a leader in Pomona, Diamond Bar, Walnut, Claremont, La Verne, San Dimas communities and continues to strive to provide programs that will meet family and community needs.  In carrying out its mission, the YMCA is serving Pomona Valley with the following goals in mind:

  • To expand child care and sports activities for all young people, while creating a haven where they are welcome at any time.
  • To provide more family-oriented activities.
  • To allow increased use of facilities by other community agencies.
  • To increase accessibility of YMCA programs and facilities by increasing the number of programs and space to conduct them.
  • To address the growing childhood obesity epidemic

The Pomona YMCA was first started in 1884, their first project was to open up a religious reading room in the 2nd story of the Pomona Bank. In 1912 the community decided a new building was needed and the site chosen for the new building was the former site of the Palomares Hotel.

In 2008 to better serve the Diamond Bar and West Pomona community and our branch incorporated the Maple Hill facility.

In 2017, we became a part of the YMCA of Orange County. Starting a new Chapter in our YMCA of Pomona Valley history.